The French Girl by Lexie Elliott (3 out of 5) 

I have to stop reading these books on Sunday. Psychological suspense, etc. Last Sunday, it was “Force of Nature”; this week, this one. Don’t rush out to get this book yet. It’s not out until February 20, 2018, from the folks at Berkeley. If you want a sure-fire book club pick, this one would be good. It just wasn’t turning my straw into gold. Meaning, I wasn’t breathless with suspense. But I’m also not hating on it, either. It just felt uneven to me. Hence, the three stars. It was a good read, but not a knockout.

Six friends spend time at a house in France, cavorting, drinking, falling in and out of love, causing havoc. The next door neighbor, a French girl named Severine, mysterious and effusive, spends much of the summer hanging with them. Then the summer ends and Kate, Tom, Theo, Seb, Caro, and Lara head back to civilization. Unfortunately, Severine (our “French Girl” of title) disappears. Five of our six (Theo is deceased) have moved on with their lives, until work on the French house finds bones in a well. Guess who? Severine. Since there is no statute of limitations on murder, the French police send an inspector named Modan to the US to investigate. Kate, our lead character of the group, suddenly notices that the ghost of Severine is following her around. Kate has her hands full enough- her career is in neutral and her only solution is a contract with her former friend Caro’s dad’s firm. Her friend Tom and her best friend Lara had a fling at some point and now Kate has complicated feelings for Tom. Her ex Seb, it turns out, had a one off with the dead girl on the last night they were there. Caro was doing coke, drinking heavily, and smuggled drugs in Kate’s luggage, so they aren’t close. Tom and Seb are related, so there are a lot of complicated relationships involved. Modan is hot on all of their tails, so Kate gets a lawyer. To complicate things more, Lara starts messing around with the Frenchman, which isn’t the smartest thing when he’s investigating Severine’s murder. Things escalate and come to a head. The case is eventually solved and closed. And therein lies my true beef. It’s not a satisfactory conclusion at all! I like the characters but the perpetrator was not a surprise at all. The inherent shadiness associated with that person made me think they were the one behind Severine’s murder. Unfortunately, I was correct. The wheels of justice completely fell off the track here, my friends. The way some of these adult friends act toward one another? Abhorrent and immature, or a kegger at a uni in an uppercrust suburb. Some of these people are so repellent they could be used as an adult insect solution. Props to Elliott for painting them so, so well. I wanted to smack the shit out of some of them. So, ultimately, a great story about the misplaced bonds of friendship, desire, and the terrible entrails of human nature. But a story that lost much of its appeal with the great reveal. 

~ by generationgbooks on November 6, 2017.

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